Throughout the non-conference, there were signs of the Zags breaking out offensively, but the team could never do it for a full 40 minutes. That technically happened in this game, with the women scoring just one point in the first 4:30 of the game, trailing 9-3 in the opening minutes.
Then, something happened. I wasn’t in the huddle, but I believed after the time out, coach Lisa Fortier might have said something along the lines of “throw it inside, they can’t stop you”. Gonzaga clearly did that, and between the end of the first quarter through the rest of the half, the Zags shot 25-29 from the field, the vast majority of it being inside. Both Jill Barta (15 and 10) and Zykera Rice (11) were in double figures, but it was freshman Jenn Wirth who shined the most this game, scoring 14 points on a perfect 6/6 shooting. She led the GU bench with 46 reserve points, outscoring Pacific by 35 in that category.
Before I go back to the gaudy stats, just to let everyone know that Gonzaga was up by 30 midway through the third quarter, and allowed 10 different players to not only score, but play at least 10 minutes in the 99-72 road victory. Altogether there were five Zags that reached double figures, with Emma Stach and Jill Townsend each getting 10+.
If Chandler Smith got just one more point, she would’ve had a triple-double, as she already got 10 rebounds along with 10 of the team’s season-high 25 assists. The 60 point halftime score was the biggest in over six seasons, and even though the Zags still struggled from deep (5-20), they held Pacific to just 4-16 from three-point range. At this point, it doesn’t even matter what the Zags shoot form long range, as long as their opponent does do too much better.
This win does come with the caveat that the Tiger’s best player and leading scorer, GeAnna Luaulu-Summers was a late scratch and couldn’t play. But based on the massive size disparity between the teams, it’s unlikely that it would’ve made a 30 point difference.
The women stays on the road where they’ll face a Santa Clara team that always gives them trouble at their place. Til next time, Go Zags!